After 27 years, Dr. Samuel Kellogg is closing the doors on his practice in Carson City. A specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, the softspoken and unpretentious physician was one of the first of his kind here.
He's looking forward to retirement, but he's ambivalent about leaving.
"It's been a wonderful profession," Kellogg said. "I've enjoyed the practice, caring for patients, and the intellectual challenge. There have been a few legal and insurance problems, but nothing ever overshadowed the joy of the practice.
"It was very tough, cleaning up the office. I wasn't mentally or emotionally ready. But the responsibilty for patients is stressful, and as I get older I feel that stress more. It's time to retire. I need time for my family and time to pursue other interests."
The son of an architect in Rock Springs, Wyo., Kellogg attended medical school at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. After graduation in 1972, he looked west to start his practice and first considered teaming up with a doctor in San Diego. But the physician died suddenly of pancreatic cancer, and Kellogg then looked next to Reno, and finally Carson City.
"We didn't really care for Reno at that time," Kellogg said, noting the town was much different then. "We were driving to Carson City to visit my wife's sister and at the crest of the hill we saw this beautiful little town that filled the valley.
"Here I could be close to Tom (Bodensteiner, a Reno obstetrics and gynecology practioner and schoolmate.) And my wife would be close to her sister."
He presented himself at Carson-Tahoe Hospital's reception window and was interviewed by Dr. Grundy, a long-time Carson City physician.
Kellogg joined Grundy's practice and welcomed the chance to work in an area that would allow him to use his training as a specialist right away. But two had preceded him and both left a tarnished image of the obstetrics and gynecology physician.
It was tough initially. Locals shunned him, but within the year family-practice doctors began calling him with special cases. The real turning point came when a pregnant woman with toxemia was admitted to the emergency room with convulsions.
Kellogg handled the case, apparently to the satisfaction of locals, (mom and baby doing fine). Word got around, and business boomed.
Soon after, Dr. Parapid joined his practice, and Dr. Breeden came later.
The practice currently has eight obstetrics and gynecology physicians, as well as four pediatricians and four family practitioners.
Along with Dr. Breeden, Kellogg was instrumental in developing Carson-Tahoe's first birthing rooms, new mother education programs, and modernization of the hospital's obstetrics wing.
Concerned over the increasing pregnancy and venereal disease rate in Carson City, he developed a sex education program for the school district.
He said he will miss it all.
"I'm going to keep busy so I don't miss the place and the profession," he said. "I think it's important for growth and development, to move to the next phase of life."
To that end, Kellogg will be picking out some restoration projects, (he restores cars and boats), traveling, working on his music and taking some computer courses.
Kellogg and wife Jean have three sons. Glen is an anesthesiologist, Jim works with data management systems and John, the youngest, is a chiropracter in Reno.